The Little Kitchen That Could

There is nothing more exciting than buying your first home! Our clients made the big purchase with some big renovations in mind. In a previous blog we discussed the bathroom renovation we did for them, and this time it's all about the kitchen! Their kitchen had never been renovated, and I do mean never. It was in need of major update both functionally and aesthetically. 

Bungalow Kitchen

Who: L&J - first-time home owners!

What: 50's bungalow in the Strathearn neighbourhood.

When: Late Fall 2017

Years lived in: Under 1 year

Since the kitchen had such a small footprint, we wanted to make the most of every square inch. There was an unnecessary bulkhead taking up lots of cabinet height, the layout wasn’t well thought out, and there was hardly any counter space. Oh and did I mention there wasn’t a dishwasher!

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The biggest challenge of this kitchen was the layout. We worked on many many different iterations: from a little movable island, to having a little nook to house the oven, to adding an entire wall of cabinetry that didn't exist before, which was the winning idea. 

The kitchen was flooded with natural light so we knew that we could do something special, we presented the idea of an all black kitchen. The clients loved it and we ran with it!

Ge ready for dramatic after photos - drum roll please…

For the record this is a 6 month pregger belly!

For the record this is a 6 month pregger belly!


Black cabinets may sounds scary and dark but coupled with so many other bright elements in this room it feels anything but dark. White subway tiles with white grout kept the space feeling bright, its also a timeless look that won’t date quickly. Bright white quartz counters and durable light coloured vinyl floors further keep the space bright.

Like every renovation we were keeping a close eye on the budget. The custom cabinets took a big bite out of the budget so we needed to find savings in other places.  We opted for a simple 3x6 subway tile backsplash and  3/4" thick quartz counter, slightly thinner than standard thickness it’s barely noticeable but gave us a little savings.

Another budget friendly option were the floors we selected. The floors needing replacing, and there was a very bossy honey wood laminate in the adjacent room, so we didn't want to compete with another wood tone. Our first thought was tile, but tile would be costly as it would require a new sub floor and would cost more to install. The other consideration is that tile can be cold and quite hard underfoot. We ended up choosing marmoleum product from Adura. It didn’t require a new subfloor, installed quickly and feels a bit warmer underfoot.

One of my favourite details in this kitchen is the brick chimney, if you look at the before photos you will notice it was hidden behind a cabinet. The cabinet was narrow and pretty useless. After a look in the basement I had a suspicion we might be able to uncover brick and I’m so glad we did! It adds so much warmth and interest to the space.

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Appliances can add a lot of bulk to a kitchen so it is worth choosing them wisely. For this kitchen we ended up sourcing a fantastic 30" wide counter depth fridge through Bloomberg that didn’t protrude into the room.

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This may have been a vintage home but our clients wanted a fun choice for the central lighting fixture. We selected this gorgeous light fixture from Illuminate Vintage, along with the pretty polished nickel sconce above the sink. They are made to order so you have the option of choosing your metal finish and your shade.

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This little kitchen turned into a big success. I am so pleased with the final results, not only does this kitchen look beautiful but it really functions well. We used every square inch and planned out the placement of every utensil. In the end we made a kitchen that used to make our clients frustrated into a space they love to be in.


Photography: Jillian Schecher

Contracting: McCormick General Construction

Flooring: Carpet Superstore

Cabinets: Gem Cabinets

Appliances: Coast Appliances